Keep Calm and Chive on
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Nakatomi Plaza
this is a rather long awaited and promised interview with Jack, which was conducted by his buddy who has become a rather recurring visitor to the Kings board on Hockey's Future since Johnson was acquired from Carolina.
this is a draft, and he's indicated that the final interview will be placed on his personal site shortly.
The Long Awaited Jack Johnson Interview
I called Jack and asked for permission to post this interview on this forum. Here it is, at last!:
Justin Spiro: What are your thoughts on Michigan’s season thus far?
Jack Johnson: So far, first half season didn’t go as well as we wanted or expected. Since Christmas, things have been rolling in the right direction and our season could still be a success. It is too early to make any ultimate determinations, but I feel good about this team’s chances.
JS: On a more individual level: Rate your performance this season? Have you met your own personal standards?
JJ: My standards are higher than anybody else’s are for me, and it is tough to ever be satisfied. I concern myself with my contribution to the team. Did we win the game and did I contribute to that win? These are my primary concerns.
JS: Has your time at Michigan moved you any closer to a decision regarding your future? Will you be leaving Ann Arbor soon?
JJ: My time in Ann Arbor has been everything I wanted it to be. I haven’t given the future a whole lot of thought. I have some very important things ahead of me hockey wise, not to mention school. It is completely cliché, but I am going to take things one step at a time. When the time comes, I will decide what I am going to do.
JS: Recent draftee Erik Johnson has drawn rave reviews. Many scouts have stacked you against him and have come to varying conclusions as to who will be the better player. What is your opinion of the other Johnson?
JJ: I have played with him twice, and he is absolutely phenomenal. He is an even better person than he is player. I am very fond of him, he was an excellent defensive partner. There is no question in my mind that he is going to have a great career.
JS: Assuming you do eventually sign with the Kings, how excited are you at the prospect of living and playing in Los Angeles?
JJ: I truly hope that I do have the privilege of playing for Los Angeles. They would be demanding wins, and I expect to be a part of delivering them. I am thrilled that I may have an opportunity to play there.
JS: Have you watched any Kings games this season? What are your impressions of the team?
JJ: Whenever they are on TV, I enjoy watching the Kings. They are very young and talented. My perception is that they will be among the NHL’s best within a couple of years, and the potential is far greater than the standings would let on.
JS: Which current Kings player would you be most excited to play with?
JJ: If I got the chance to play with Rob Blake, that would top my list. He is a Hall of Fame defenseman that has won it all. Just one hell of a defenseman, and certainly as good as it gets.
JS: In Los Angeles, a fan based message board has given you the nickname “Jack Mother ******* Johnson”. Do you like the new moniker?
JJ: I appreciate it, I think! I don’t know if it is a nickname that will stick, for obvious reasons, but it is one of the better names I’ve had. Maybe they can abbreviate it to “JMFJ” to avoid any conflicts.
JS: What has been the greatest benefit of resisting Carolina’s efforts to sign you right out of high school? In hindsight, was going to the University of Michigan a wise decision?
JJ: Yes, I don’t regret going to UM one bit. I always wanted to do it while growing up, and it is something I will always look back on. So many wonderful athletes have played at this university. Going to class with All-American football players, the greatness of Yost… what an experience.
Carolina would have been great, but I am definitely looking forward to performing in front of the Kings and a fan base that I perceive to be among the finest in the game.
JS: Did it hurt when the Hurricanes traded you away?
JJ: No, it wasn’t personal at all. We obviously weren’t on the same page, and they didn’t agree with my decision. It was my decision to make, and I knew some people wouldn’t agree. It was my choice, and I was going to do what I thought was best for my development. It was a business move, and I absolutely respect the Hurricanes organization decision to move me.
JS: Will you be playing with a chip on your shoulder?
JJ: I always play with a chip on my shoulder, so that is almost irrelevant. Still, I want to let people know that I can hold my own on the ice. If I get the opportunity to play, I will show everybody that I can perform. I certainly won’t hold anything back.
JS: What defines a successful NHL career? Stanley Cups, numerous All-Star Game appearances? What must you do to satisfy your personal standard of success whenever you do make the jump?
JJ: I think people view successful careers differently. I think you have to be recognized as a winner. The biggest thing is that Stanley Cup. The individual accolades are nice, but a championship is the most important.
I would much rather be considered a champion than a great player. That said, the goal is to combine the two. I don’t plan to settle for just one.
JS: What number do you intend to wear in your post-collegiate career?
JJ: I’ve worn number 3 in college, but I am not sure if I want to carry that over. It was my father’s number, and I would like to create my own identity. Aaron Miller already has it, anyway. I am still in college, but I am guessing a great way to make friends would be not to stroll into the locker room and request a current player’s number.
JS: Hypothetical: Your close friend Sidney Crosby is dashing toward the net. You’re all that stands between him and a breakaway goal. Who wins the battle, and would you hesitate to level him with a clean hit?
JJ: Who wins? That is tough. Back when we were high school teammates, we pushed each other and it was always a fierce competition.
In that situation, I am going to do everything I possibly can to keep him from scoring. He wouldn’t let up on me in the least bit, so you can bet I will do anything to stop him. We’re friends off the ice, but on it there is no mercy. If I had to take him out (legally), I would do it.
He is probably the best player in the world right now, so I would have my hands full.
JS: Throughout your Michigan career, you have been criticized (and thunderously booed in Canada) for what people perceive to be "dirty" play. Do you relish playing the role of villain?
JJ: Yes, it is great. Most people that boo me would love to have me on their team, I am guessing. I absolutely relish it, and even laugh at it most of the time. I can’t imagine paying money for a seat just to insult a player the whole game. I find as much entertainment in it as anybody.
JS: Are you at all concerned about the reception you’ll receive during road games in Canada?
JJ: Concerned? Absolutely not. I told a friend the other day that I would be extremely disappointed if I showed up in the arena and I wasn’t booed. Being hated by the opposing team’s fans is at least as much of a compliment as being loved by your own. I look forward to getting booed, and I hope our friends up north are willing to oblige.
JS: Thank you very much for your time, and best of luck to you as the season progresses.
JJ: My pleasure. Go Blue!
The interviewer is also saying Jack Mother****ing Johnson WILL be a King in the next couple of months, to bank on it.
By the way, he still wears that Dodger cap all around campus.
The Kings sent him 4 jerseys (2 home, 2 away) with "06" as the number and with his name on the back. I guess he said they were draft jerseys.
2 of the jerseys are hanging in his living room, right next to a framed quote from Peter Karmanos (that I am not allowed to repeat).
You guys are weeks away from witnessing an immensely talented player with a HUGE chip on his shoulder. I am excited both for my best friend and for you as a fan base. Jack can't wait to play for your team.
There is no "hoping" for anything.
He WILL be an LA King in less than 2 months. Take it to the bank. Bet your friends, give them odds.
Last edited by 24champ; 01-30-2007 at 09:11 PM..